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  • Writer's pictureTina

Celebrating National Picnic Day

Picnicking farm style with my two favorite goobers

We have spent the past three days working outside. Finally, we got a much-needed break from the rain, so we took advantage of the sunshine and dry skies. I was excited at the prospect of working outside, cleaning up the lawn, and clearing fallen trees from the property. I enjoy manual labor, in theory. I like the idea of sunshine, fresh air, getting a nontraditional workout, and making progress on a few theory. In reality, by the time five o'clock rolled around on day three, I told my husband I didn't like his projects. This was not fun anymore, and I declared he was trying to kill me. His response was, "Just give me a few more hours." Sigh.

Wood is heavy, and I don't like hauling wood. I was excited about using the chainsaw, but The Bibbed Wonder shut that down before I completed the demand: "Oh, let me run the...." "NO!" was his response. No explanation was given to my request, not even an iota of thought. He simply shut it down and refused to entertain my one-shot at fun. I was too tired to pout or argue, so I just kept picking up pieces of wood scattered everywhere. Meanwhile, I was thinking what a dictator I married. How he thrives on taking away fun, and what a power trip he is on all the time. Seriously, he has cool toys and refuses to share.

Actually, it wasn't all bad. For the first two days, I genuinely enjoyed being outside and working alongside The Bibbed Wonder. He is the epitome of patience. Not once did he roll his eyes, act annoyed, or become exasperated at my lack of muscle and skill. The extent of my workload was jumping off and on the tractor to run the gates so he could move the wood to the burn pile created in the center of the upper pasture. This site was chosen because a large oak tree came down a few years ago and was a convenient spot to clean it up. We cleaned up a total of four downed trees, and we have three more to go. Thankfully, it rained today, and we are excused from tree duty.

We built the most enormous bonfire I have ever seen. This fire is going to burn for days. The Bean is home from school with a viral infection. The poor kid has the "Slap Cheek" virus. Her little face is red, lumpy, and swollen. Her skin is hot to the touch. She is running a low-grade fever, and she is tired. Yesterday afternoon, even her little ears were hot, lumpy, red, and swollen. I asked The Bean if she would like to get some fresh air and cook hot dogs over the world's most enormous bonfire. She readily agreed, and we began preparations for an impromptu picnic. We pulled hotdogs out of the freezer, gathered buns and condiments, chips, Oreos, and Mason jars of water, and ran everything out to the field on the Ranger.

The Bibbed Wonder lowered the tractor bucket, and we used that as a table and seat. The Bibbed Wonder and The Bean cooked hotdogs over the fire, and we chatted about this and that. It was by far the best part of the day. Eric claimed it was National Picnic Day and said we picked the perfect day for a picnic. The Bean and I never believe anything he says, so we had to Google National Picnic Day. For once, my darling husband wasn't pulling our legs, and I decided National Picnic Day would be my blog topic.

As we sat listening to the fire crackle, watching the goats mill about, and laughing over Eric's stories of his youth, I felt very grateful for our life. Yes, this farm is a lot of hard work; it's exhausting, and we ride a roller coaster of emotions on any given day, but the opportunities we are afforded and the happiness it brings us are priceless. And just like that, lunch was over; it was time to haul more wood, climb up and down from that God-forsaken tractor, and the feeling of being blessed was over. Insert a giggle and a wink.

At the end of the day, The Bean and The Bibbed Wonder decided it was a brilliant idea to cook mountain pies over the world's biggest bonfire. I declared I was out. I was tired of being outdoors, fresh air, fire, and hard surfaces. They stated I am a boob. I accepted this wholeheartedly; I ate pickles with peanut butter for dinner, drank a big glass of water, and went to bed at 7:30. Incidentally, I slept better than I had in a long time. There are benefits to manual labor. Today, I am grateful for the rain. I don't believe I could handle one more day riding around on that tractor and lifting large logs. I also believe that once a week during the summer, we will have a picnic for lunch and break up the week's monotony. Picnics make me smile.

On this blessedly rainy day, stay safe, be smart, enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like picnics, and keep washing your hands.

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